Growing Independent Learners: An Online Course

Self-paced online PD

Learn with Debbie Diller to develop more meaningful, standards-based literacy work stations for your K–3 students. At the end of this self-paced, six-lesson online course, you will be able to make connections naturally between your state’s ELA standards and what you’re teaching in whole-group mini-lessons and in literacy work stations.

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Get details on the graduate credit option available through Brandman University, available now!

Online Course & Book Bundle includes a copy of Growing Independent Learners.

Group pricing
$79 per person for 10-39 ($99 with book)
$69 per person for 40+ ($89 with book)
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In stock. Free ground shipping. No minimum.


Listen and watch as Debbie plans lessons with teachers and then goes into the classroom to observe and to teach. See concepts from Growing Independent Learners (and Debbie’s other books) demonstrated in planning sessions and in the classroom and compare notes with other teachers as you try out the activities with your own students. See practical tips for:

  • organizing your classroom space for maximum advantage;
  • planning instruction individually and with your team to strengthen your literacy work stations;
  • creating meaningful word walls and anchor charts in whole-group instruction; and
  • teaching key skills that allow students to work together toward independence, ownership, and mastery.

Each lesson comes with downloadable readings and high-quality videos that show instruction and teacher planning. A dedicated Facebook Group allows you to connect with other teachers, share insights, and discuss assignments. Debbie will visit the discussion board periodically to add her own comments to the conversation. At the end of the course you will receive a certificate of completion that shows eight clock hour credits. Growing Independent Learners is required reading to go along with the workshop. If you do not own the book, we recommend ordering the online course and book bundle; see above ordering options.

Click here for more information on Growing Independent Learners.


My favorite part about the course was being able to work at my own pace and being able to go back and look back at things that I wanted to view again.

Sarah Patterson

Course participant, first-grade teacher

    About the Author(s)

    Debbie Diller, a national educational consultant and popular conference speaker, lives in Houston, Texas. Debbie uses her experience of over 40 years as a classroom teacher, Title I reading specialist, and literacy coach to teach others about sensible, realistic ways to meet the literacy needs of all students in the classroom.


    Table of Contents

    Lesson 1 – Introduction to Growing Independent Learners Model

    •      Part 1 Overview of this course
    •      Part 2 The Growing Independent Learners (GIL) model
    •      Part 3 Literacy Work Stations in action

    Lesson 2 – Organizing and Managing the Classroom for Independence

    •      Part 1 Setting up your classroom for teaching and learning
    •      Part 2 Looking closely at classroom spaces and management
    •      Part 3 Creative use of classroom spaces

    Lesson 3 – Planning for Literacy Stations with the Team Planning Tool

    •      Part 1 Why use the team planning tool?
    •      Part 2 How to use the team planning tool
    •      Part 3 Connecting team planning to teaching and learning

    Lesson 4 – Planning, Creating, and Using Anchor Charts

    •      Part 1 Looking deeply at anchor charts
    •      Part 2 Planning for an anchor chart with a sketch
    •      Part 3 Creating an anchor chart with students in whole-group

    Lesson 5 – From Standards to Stations in Whole Group and Partner Practice: Finding Main Idea in Informational Text

    •      Part 1 Making a plan for teaching main idea and key details
    •      Part 2 Teaching and learning about main idea and key details in whole-group mini-lessons
    •      Part 3 Partner practice with finding main idea and key details at a station

    Lesson 6 – From Standards to Stations in Whole Group and Partner Practice: Vocabulary

    •      Part 1 Making a plan for teaching vocabulary
    •      Part 2 Teaching and learning about vocabulary in whole group mini-lessons
    •      Part 3 Partners create pieces for a future retelling station

    Final Thoughts



    Product Details

    Grades: K, 1, 2, 3
    Media: 6-lesson online courseMedia: 6-lesson online course plus book
    Year: 2016
    Item No: WKPDILItem No: R912
    ISBN: 978-WKPDIL-201-6ISBN: 978-DILR-912-5
    Hashtag: #growinglearners